(File)

Council approves controversial new development fee

The amended DCC will see an extra $7,180 paid by developers on every new residential condo or home

Despite criticism from the business community, a controversial new parks development fee was passed by Kelowna city councillors on Monday.

Council amended the DCC bylaw, which will now be forwarded to B.C. Ministry of Community Services for approval.

After initially adopting it in 2011, the DCC bylaw was updated in 2016 and again in 2019 to reflect current land and construction costs, ensuring adequate funding for growth-related infrastructure.

The proposed park development and linear park acquisition DCCs will change the program by $113 million. The proposed DCC increase will be funded $73.7 million (65 per cent) from DCCs and $39.3 million (35 per cent) from the city in the form of taxation, gas tax, infrastructure levy and parks revenue.

READ MORE: ‘Bridge to nowhere’: Kelowna council dismisses second bridge over Okanagan Lake for incremental approach

READ MORE: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce criticizes new development fee

The amended bylaw will see an additional $7,180 paid by developers on every new residential condo or home, to offset some of the infrastructure expenditures incurred to service the further growth of parks in the city.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Urban Development Institute and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of the Central Okanagan all came out against the increase while the city was developing the plan.

Couns. Loyal Wooldridge and Brad Sieben were the only two to oppose the amendment.

Wooldridge, while initially in favour of the proposed changes, went against the amendment this time around.

“My concern is definitely in terms of the acquisition to be acquiring more than we can actually develop and continue down that path,” he said.

“I know the argument is bringing in more people into Kelowna and making sure we have the park space, but for me, it’s a challenge to rationalize.”

Sieben was the only councillor to vote against the amendment initially and stood his ground on the issue, saying that it harms housing affordability.

“If we have a $790,000 house or a $797,000 house, there is an impact,” he said. “The impact is more on the quality of life than affordability.”

The rest of the council was in favour of the bill, stating that a “first-class city deserves first-class parks.”

“When you have the opportunity to sort through the rhetoric and explain that growth should pay for growth, they understand that concept,” said Basran.

Basran continued, saying that it’s not just builders shouldering the responsibility of the new costs, but instead the whole community.

“We run the whole gamut of people who are paying into various buckets to help build a great community. So this isn’t being shouldered by one particular industry. It’s shared across the whole community.”

Basran added that implementing a smaller DCC for smaller units doesn’t make sense, citing that people in smaller properties need parks the most.

“I don’t see how a square footage basis makes it fair. The people in smaller spaces need the space to actually recreate.”


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

West Kelowna emergency crews rescue injured mountain biker

The woman fell from her bike on a Smith Creek trail

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Youth advocacy group pulls out of Vernon Black Lives Matter protest

Earth Strike Vernon pulled its support after concerns raised about Kelowna, Vernon protests

Most Read